Module 1.1: The Future of Food: Course Overview
This course, The Future of Food, provides introductory-level learning perspectives on human and environmental systems of food and resource use, in order to understand challenges and opportunities. The goal of the course is to understand and be able to apply an integrated perspective on the environmental and human dimensions of environmental issues related to food production and consumption. The content of the course addresses both environmental and human systems of food and resource use to an equal extent. In the case of the first (environmental systems), you will learn about the geosystems and agroecology of soil, nutrients, crops, water, and climate that form the fundamental basics of food-growing environmental systems. In the case of the second (human systems) you will learn about factors such as population and the roles of culture, social interactions, economics, and politics. These multiple perspectives are integrated into the framework of "Coupled Natural-Human Systems" (the CNHS is used beginning in 1.2 (also called Coupled Human-Natural Systems or CHN). We will focus on current environment-food systems, while also including the past trajectories and future trends of food systems. The course also blends information and analysis of local-scale environment and food systems with a focus on the regional, national, and global scales, and asks you as a learner to apply this knowledge in a Capstone Project that you assemble over the course of the semester in collaboration with other students. The course features active learning in both online and classroom settings and a wide variety of learning materials and methods.